This small but dedicated group reviews matters relating to mountain access and wilderness conservation, and prepares letters and/or detailed submissions to Government stating our position. In order to become familiar with complex issues, members generally read reports and attend meetings with government and/or other public outdoor recreation groups.
Some members of our committee attend the meetings of the Recreation and Conservation Committee (Rec & Con) of the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC (FMCBC). Guest speakers at these meetings may include representatives from BC Assets and Lands Corporation (BCAL), BC Parks, BC Forest Service, BC Environment Assessment Office, and so on. We can receive helpful advice from these people for making our views known to Government, which assists our committee members in improving their lobbying. The BCMC frequently has the largest number of members attending the Rec & Con meetings, so the interests of the BCMC are well represented at these meetings and in submissions made by the FMCBC to the various government agencies.
The FMCBC is recognized as the primary contact by the various government agencies for issues relating to non-commercial, non-motorized back-country recreation and the mountaineering community. Therefore, requests for public input on land planning issues, new legislation, Crown land tenure applications, etc. are received by them.
The BCMC Conservation Committee either makes submissions under the "umbrella" of the FMCBC or as the BCMC itself, depending on the nature and source of the request for submissions, and our ability to poll members.
In order to preserve the alpine environment, the club suggests that backcountry users observe these basic wilderness ethics:
1. Pack out all garbage
2. Where pit toilets are not provided, select a screened spot at least 50 metres from any water and dig a hole 15 to 20 centimetres deep. Cover the hole with soil and ground and cover. Keep water sources free from contamination.
3. Alpine life, whether flora or fauna, is fragile and not in abundance. Do not kill plants or animals unless in an emergency.
4. Stay on trails and do not cut corners on switchbacks to avoid erosion.
5. Light small campfires. Use dead wood only and remove traces of the fire site. Ensure that fires are properly extinguished. Do not light fires in alpine areas or in areas designated as nature conservancy.
6. Camp in forests or moraines to avoid damage to meadows, lakes shores and stream banks.
The Spearhead Huts Committee has just launched a public survey and invites everyone in the outdoor community to participate. The purpose of the survey is to gather information on use of the Spearhead/Fitzsimmons area and public opinions and preferences for the proposed huts. The final survey deadline is May 30, 2012.